Kerry county results: Healy-Rae duo’s performance all-conquering

Danny Healy-Rae steamrolls in with 4,388 votes - more than double the quota

Johnny Healy-Rae had a surplus of 1,415 votes in South and West Kerry.

Johnny Healy-Rae had a surplus of 1,415 votes in South and West Kerry.

 

Nothing could dwarf the performance of Independent father and son duo Danny and Johnny Healy-Rae in Killarney and South and West Kerry.

Danny at the southernmost tip of the eight-seat Killarney area steamrolled northeastwards through to the boundaries of Tralee with a phenomenal 4,388 votes - more than double the quota.

His son Johnny, his first time on a ballot paper, also living in the small village of Kilgarvan at the southernmost edge of the South and West Kerry constituency, steamed northwestwards for the journey across three peninsulas and secured a quota and a half, topping the poll in the nine-seater.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin took a council seat in south and west Kerry for the first time since 1960.

Former Tyrone hurler Damian Quigg was elected along with Fine Gael’s Patrick Connor-Scarteen, John Francis Flynn (FF) and Norma Moriarty (FF) on the tenth count for South and West Kerry.

They join Johnny Healy-Rae (Ind), Michael Cahill (Ind), Dan Mc Carthy (Ind), Seamus Cosai Fitzgerald (FG) and Michael O’Shea (FF) in South and west Kerry.

In the count centre in Killarney, Danny Healy-Rae gave a rousing speech beginning with a bar of a song. “People of Kerry, I love ye,” the poll topper announced. He said his message was to delay repayments to Europe, as Germany had done after the second World War. “I have a message for Enda Kenny: stop hurting the people,” he said.

Johnny and Danny Healy-Rae then joined in song before ending “Up Kilgarvan!”

Seamus Cosai­ Fitzgerald, Fine Gael Mayor of Kerry, survived in South and West Kerry thanks to help from his west Kerry neighbour and rival Breandán Fitzgerald. Cosaí was declared elected with the distribution of Breandán’s 1,522 vote on the 9th count in Killarney.

In Killarney, the collapse of Labour has been spectacular. Its Killarney councillor came in behind the Sinn Féin candidate and the party did not even run a candidate in South and West Kerry.

Voting across the South and West area has been mainly local - staying within tight geographical areas and crossing party lines, with Kenmare votes staying in Kenmare and so on.

However politics in Kerry is not just local - it is tribal. The Healy-Raes’ win prove this positively, but the loss of Anne McEllistrim, a highly effective councillor to the county council is also due to the tribal effect - she came out of her own area to allow her brother, the former TD Thomas, the chance of a council seat in Tralee.